A “theft and abuse” of the United States intends to recruit the Puerto Rican volleyball player Gabi García

The president of the Puerto Rican Volleyball Federation (FPV)César Trabanco, qualified as a “theft and abuse” of the USA Volleyball the one that intends to take one of the best players of the National Team, Gabriel “Gabi” García, to represent that country in international competitions.

“Because the Tokyo Olympics didn’t go well, they want to find the best player for a developing team. Being the best team, with 300 million inhabitants. And more outrageous is that they never communicated with the Puerto Rican federation”, expressed Trabanco in an interview with The new day.

The United States failed to qualify for the Olympic volleyball quarterfinals, being eliminated in the preliminary round.

The federative president indicated that he was able to speak with García today, Wednesday, in the morning. In the talk of about 25 minutes and that was described as respectful between both parties, the player told him that he had made the determination to “secure his future”, to which Trabanco told him that his future was in the leagues in which that plays. Likewise, they came to the understanding that the parties would abide by the decision of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB, for its acronym in French).

Garcia, a 23-year-old striker, currently plays in the ‘big leagues’ of international volleyball with Italian Super League club Lube.

The FIVB is the body that will see the request for change of sports nationality that the Puerto Rican player requested together with USA Volleyball. Garcia, who has always played for Puerto Rico, wants to represent the United States.

“I told him that I respected his decision but that he had to put himself in my place. That he was our most important player at the moment. That until the month of August he played with our National Team and that he was born, raised and educated in Puerto Rico”, said Trabanco.

“Before going to Utah (to study at Brigham Young University) he had already represented Puerto Rico,” he added.

Trabanco maintained that he had heard rumors that García was about to make a request to change his nationality. However, it was not until Friday of last week that the athlete notified them of his intention in writing.

The federative leader said that García showed concern that the FPV could -from now on- hinder his transfers to play abroad, something that Trabanco assured will not happen.

“Not only did I tell him no, this won’t have any impact on his transfers. That I guaranteed him as a person that this was not going to happen, and that when I finished my period (within two years), I was going to make sure that no one interrupted his transfers, ”he stressed.

“He (García) perfectly understood my position and we came to the understanding that this was going to be decided by the FIVB. If the FIVB decides one thing, we were going to accept it. But I voluntarily, with this indignation that I have with USA Volleyball, could not give it to him voluntarily because I would be betraying sporting sovereignty”, he insisted.

Garcia is considered one of the best volleyball players in the country. In fact, in local volleyball circles there are those who argue that he could be more successful than the retired Héctor “Picky” Soto, who is considered the Puerto Rican volleyball player with the longest career at the international level with participation in leagues in Italy, Belgium, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Tunisia.

The next major commitment of the National Team is the Volleyball World Championship, which will take place between August and September in a country to be determined after the FIVB took the venue from Russia due to the events with Ukraine.

How is the proccess?

The former president of the FIVB legal commission and current director of the legal division of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Mr. Jaime Lamboy, explained that the regulations of the body that regulates volleyball worldwide allow a player to request a change of federation of origin, which is the entity with which an athlete is registered and with whom he plays in the national team, but they must meet certain criteria.

One of them is that the player has the passport of the country he intends to represent, which in Garcia’s case is fulfilled because Puerto Ricans have US citizenship.

The player and the destination federation must submit a document to the international federation, which must include the consent of the federation of origin to waive the “national selection rights” of that athlete.

“If the federation of origin opposes, it must justify why it opposes. So, the case goes to the FIVB Executive Committee. This is basically the process.”Lamboy stipulated.

“The FIVB Executive Committee takes into consideration what objections have been raised. It takes into consideration the player’s history, takes into consideration the competitive and ranking levels of the teams and takes into consideration the player’s relationship with the country and his particular circumstances,” added the lawyer, who maintained that the Executive usually consults these cases. with the legal division.

Lamboy shared that in the 14 years that he worked on the FIVB legal commission, no destination federation has appealed a denial or acceptance decision.

“Usually, the decisions are quite sensible and reasonable. They go through the legal commission to get their opinion and the Executive Committee decides”he pointed out.

The former director of the Department of High Performance of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (Copur) explained that the reason for this regulation is to prevent federations with more resources from pirating players from smaller ones and to protect the countries that develop players and programs. nationals.

“What the rule seeks is to prevent countries from taking advantage of the sports development efforts made by other countries and that when the player is at his peak, they take him away.”

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